Non-Volatile Random Access Memory

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What Does Non-Volatile Random Access Memory Mean?

Non-Volatile Random Access Memory (NVRAM) is a category of Random Access Memory (RAM) that retains stored data even if the power is switched off. NVRAM uses a tiny 24-pin dual inline package (DIP) integrated circuit chip, which helps it to gain the power required to function from the CMOS battery on the motherboard. NVRAM monitors several system parameters, such as Ethernet the MAC address, serial number, date of manufacture, HOSTID, etc. Therefore, NVRAM is a non-volatile memory type that provides the random access facility.

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Techopedia Explains Non-Volatile Random Access Memory

Different types of NVRAM are available. A battery-backed static RAM is the initial semiconductor using NVRAM technology, which was created by connecting it to a rechargeable battery for maintaining the power given to the static RAM when the power of the system is turned off. This technology is still available, but works effectively only for a limited time. The disadvantage is that the batteries occupy most of the useful space, and eventually get discharged.

Flash memory, the best-known form of non-volatile RAM today, replaces the battery-powered static RAM in many applications. It provides CMOS setup storage that is more reliable. The main drawback of Flash memory is that its cells cannot endure more read or write cycles.

Magneto resistive RAM (MRAM), another type of NVRAM, rectifies the drawbacks of Flash, and can endure an infinite number of read or write cycles.

Ferroelectric RAM (FeRAM), yet another type of NVRAM, stores information in the form of voltage inside a capacitor.

The advantages Of NVRAM are as follows:

  • Provides excellent performance when compared to other non-volatile memory products
  • Supports applications that need quick read or write operations using non-volatile memories, such as antilock braking systems and parallel processing controllers for local area networks.
  • Less power is required for NVRAMs, so the backup guarantee can be ensured for up to 10 years.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.